Masrour Barzani: Independence needs unity
In an exclusive interview with the Kurdistan TV channel, Masrour Barzani, Head of the Kurdistan Region’s Protection Agency, said Kurdistan’s independence is a very important topic and it needs unity of all the political powers and parties in Kurdistan.
During the interview, Barzani commented on a number of topics, among them the security situation in the region and war on terrorism.
He said that as part of the region, Kurdistan is going through a sensitive situation and a lot of security, economic and financial challenges, but fortunately it has successfully passed them.
"Peshmarga forces have been able to retake majority of areas controlled by ISIS and minimize the threat of ISIS on Kurdistan Region, which is all a result of their bravery and belief in their cause." However, as Barzani said, Peshmarga forces also need arms to guarantee success against the terrorists, which they have not yet received sufficient and satisfactory amount of from the coalition forces while they are fighting terrorism on behalf of the whole world.
Talking about the issue of Kurdistan’s presidency and constitution, Barzani said "these are very important topics and they are important for all people not only a political group or an individual, however politicizing this issue in such a sensitive situation when President Barzani is at the frontlines and busy planning with Peshmarga forces, is not rational and wouldn’t serve Kurdistan and its cause."
He also commented on the political system in Kurdistan and argued that it is a combination of presidential and parliamentary system and this is completely normal considering the needs and nature of the society.
Talking about the topic of agreement among political groups and national consensus in Kurdistan, the Security Head said, "For issues with national dimensions, they always support agreement among all political powers in the region."
Mr. Barzani's party, the Kurdistan Democratic Party, believes that some issues should not be solved with numbers, but rather the opinions of the minority should also be considered.
“For instance the draft constitution was approved with an overwhelming majority of 96 votes, but since the opposition was against the draft, we returned it to the parliament since this was a national issue and wanted the consent of all parties before it was approved.”
Answering a question about a statement he had made about the PKK’s existence in Kurdistan Region, Barzani said, "althogugh as a nation they have the right to defend and help each other, but the fact is that Kurdistan is divided among different countries and the nature and situation in each part is different and these differences should be considered."
“We thank all the groups and parties from each part of Kurdistan who help us both politically and militarily in the fight against the ISIS, but we cannot accept interference in administrative issues and governance of Kurdistan Region. PKK’s issue is somewhere else and it doesn’t need to interfere in Kurdistan Region, but rather should comply with the laws and regulations of Kurdistan Region.”
Addressing the issue of Kurdistan’s independence, Barzani refuted the claims that this is a political propaganda used by President Barzani or KDP, and said “this is our goal and a natural right of the Kurdistan people and Kurdistan has to become independent one day. However, the way towards independence is a process and it needs different ways of working for it depending on different stages and situations.”
Barzani, however, added that this is not something that should or could be done unilaterally. They are hoping to reach an agreement about this with all political groups in Kurdistan Region and also negotiate and discuss this with other Iraqi groups.
“We are not the factor behind Iraq’s division,” added Masrour Barzani. “You can see that Iraq is divided, ISIS is ruling the Sunni Arabs, the Shiites are ruling the Shiite Arabs, and Kurds are ruling Kurdistan. Additionally, as a nation the Kurds have the right to independence and President Barzani says this right has been taken from the Kurds and we need to retake this legitimate right of ours.”
Barzani said that if all parties and groups are united and work together, the Kurdish independence can be realized sooner than later.